Monday, 12 September 2016

After Brexit...What happens next?

Dr Angus Armstrong and Professor Catherine Barnard, senior fellows in The UK in a Changing Europe, break down some frequently asked post-Brexit questions

How will my holidays to France, Spain, the Canaries be affected?
First and foremost by fluctuations in the exchange rate. If you changed your money after the referendum you’d receive fewer euros than if you’d changed it before, and countries that use the euro will be more expensive for us. Beyond that there will be little in the way of immediate effects. Down the line, it is unlikely European travel for holidays will require visas. And the main impact, if there is to be an impact, will be those who travel for work.

Will I need a visa to go to on a mini break to Paris?
Certainly not in the near term and almost certainly not at all.

Will house prices in Spain/France/Italy suddenly become too high and ruin my dreams of buying a place abroad?
If you are paying in sterling then yes, those prices will go up. Of course prices in the EU will also be a function of economic performance there. A serious crisis in one of those countries will lead to falls in house properties there. The Italian economy in particular looks very fragile at the moment.

Will my house crash in value post-Brexit?
Unlikely, and any impact will vary across the country. If large numbers of financial services firms leave London then prices in the top end of the London property market might fall. And it is conceivable that this might trickle down to other prices in the capital as well. Elsewhere in the UK, there will be no immediate impact, but if Brexit damages the economy – for instance by prompting firms to relocate elsewhere - then this will have implications for both house prices and the ability of people to pay them.

Can I still send my children to boarding schools in the EU?
Put simply, yes. Travel will continue to be possible. The main question is whether the UK enters an agreement, like the one enjoyed by Norway, which allows full access to the single market, including free movement of persons. While this may be unpopular with some who voted Leave, for those wishing to send their children to boarding school in the EU, a Norway-style agreement means the children will be treated equally with nationals in the host state, including in respect of fees, and will enjoy emergency healthcare on production of the EHIC (European Health Insurance card). If no such agreement is reached, children will be able to travel but they may ultimately have to obtain a visa, particularly if the UK imposes visa requirements on EU nationals coming to the UK.

How will Brexit affect my pension?
Whether Brexit improves or diminishes pension prospects really comes down to the broader economic impact of leaving the EU. While there is uncertainty about what exactly Brexit means, one can confidently say that it means less economic integration. A majority of economists expect this to lead to a smaller economy in future than otherwise would have been the case. If this proves to be the case, then long term investments will probably have a slightly lower return. This means that private pension funds will find it harder to meet their existing commitments. The state pension is also likely to be harder to fund. But governments are keen to protect pensioners, and so the cost will fall elsewhere in the country. Finally, some context is required. The future challenges of paying for the rising cost of state pensions due to people living longer dwarfs the possible costs of Brexit.

See more at ukandeu.ac.uk


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